Mercer County Public Health Profile Report
Maternal Marital Status: Percentage of Live Births, 2019
Mercer43.4% 95% Confidence IntervalNADescription of the Confidence IntervalThe confidence interval indicates the range of probable true values for the level of risk in the community.
A value of "NA" (Not Available) will appear if the confidence interval was not published with the NJSHAD indicator data for this measure.
State32.5% U.S.40.0%NA=Data not available.
Mercer Compared to State
Description of Gauge
Description of the GaugeThis graphic is based on the county data to the left. It compares the county value of this indicator to the state overall value.
The county value is considered statistically significantly different from the state value if the state value is outside the range of the county's 95% confidence interval. If the county's data or 95% confidence interval information is not available, a blank gauge image will be displayed with the message, "missing information."NOTE: The labels used on the gauge graphic are meant to describe the county's status in plain language. The placement of the gauge needle is based solely on the statistical difference between the county and state values. When selecting priority health issues to work on, a county should take into account additional factors such as how much improvement could be made, the U.S. value, the statistical stability of the county number, the severity of the health condition, and whether the difference is clinically significant.
- Excellent = The county's value on this indicator is BETTER than the state value, and the difference IS statistically significant.
- Watch = The county's value is BETTER than state value, but the difference IS NOT statistically significant.
- Improvement Needed = The county's value on this indicator is WORSE than the state value, but the difference IS NOT statistically significant.
- Reason for Concern = The county's value on this indicator is WORSE than the state value, and the difference IS statistically significant.
Why Is This Important?Nonmarital births are at higher risk of having adverse birth outcomes such as low birthweight, preterm birth, and infant mortality than are children born to married women.[https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr48/nvs48_16.pdf ^1^] Children born to single mothers typically have more limited social and financial resources.[https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/misc/wedlock.pdf ^2^]
How Are We Doing?The percentage of births to unmarried mothers had been steadily increasing for several decades but peaked around 2012 and has been declining since then. The rates among Blacks and Hispanics are more than triple the rate among Whites, and the White rate is about 5 times the rate among Asians. Among those aged 25-34, the proportion of births to unmarried women in 2019 was double the rate in 1990. The share of births to unmarried mothers ranges from 14% in Hunterdon to 63% in Cumberland County.
NoteHudson and Warren Counties each have a large proportion (> 15%) of records missing mother's marital status, so records with unknown status were removed from the denominator for all counties, NJ, and the US. Interpret with caution.
Data SourcesBirth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health National Vital Statistics Reports, NCHS, CDC
Measure Description for Maternal Marital Status
Definition: Marital status was determined by response to the following questions on the birth certificate: *For years 1970-1978 - Legitimate? *For years 1979-1988 - Is mother married? *For years after 1988 - Mother married? (At birth, conception, or any time between)
Numerator: Number of live births to unmarried mothers
Denominator: Total number of live births with known marital status